Help cel­e­brate 40 golden years

Gatton Star - - LIFE -

TO­MOR­ROW marks the day Lowood Folk Art opened its doors 40 years ago, and to cel­e­brate mem­bers are throw­ing a spe­cial morn­ing tea.

Nes­tled in the heart of town, Lowood Folk Art is a not-for-profit shop and group which show­cases and sup­ports lo­cal bak­ers, artists, grow­ers and col­lec­tors. The mem­bers are a group of ded­i­cated men and women who vol­un­teer their time to keep the shop open to sell their wares.

Folk Art Pres­i­dent Lynell Jen­dra said it was an in­cred­i­ble feat to make it to 40 years.

“It’s some­thing we didn’t think we’d reach 10 years ago,” she said.

“We’ve gone through some tough times but we’ve bounced back.

“Our suc­cess def­i­nitely comes down to the sup­port of the mem­bers and the com­mu­nity.”

The birth­day cel­e­bra­tions will see past mem­bers, cur­rent mem­bers and sup­port­ers gather for the morn­ing tea and cut­ting of the cake at 10.30am to­mor­row.

Ms Jen­dra said the cel­e­bra­tions would spill into Fri­day with more tea, cof­fee and cake on them.

“We are also run­ning a ma­jor prize draw for cus­tomers to win a voucher to spend on any­thing in the shop,” she said.

“Any­one who makes a pur­chase from Mon­day, Septem­ber 4, through to Satur­day will go into the draw.”

The his­tory of Lowood Folk Art is a tale of re­silience and com­mit­ment.

Open­ing its doors in 1977 and op­er­at­ing on the “beg and bor­row” prin­ci­ple, mem­bers used old shop coun­ters and kitchen tables for dis­plays, and worked in a vol­un­tary ca­pac­ity, both serv­ing cus­tomers and pro­vid­ing goods for sale on com­mis­sion.

In 1981, when the owner of the premises chose to sell, and with no other premises avail­able in town to suit the ex­pand­ing shop floor space, mem­bers de­cided to buy the build­ing.

Fund­ing was raised through a se­ries of un­se­cured loans by mem­bers and a bank loan through the Na­tional Bank and to se­cure the fu­ture of Lowood Folk Art, mem­bers took out shares in the busi­ness. Over its 40-year his­tory, the co-op­er­a­tive has seen a di­verse range of goods made avail­able by mem­bers for sale. The busi­ness has adapted to the chang­ing in­ter­ests and needs of the com­mu­nity.

Its aim is to put money back into the mem­bers’ hands, for their craft work and their hard work, and while it does not make mem­bers rich, it pro­vides them with busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and learn­ings, as well as val­ued so­cial con­tact. If you are in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a mem­ber, pop in and fill out an ap­pli­ca­tion form. Folk Art is at 8 Rail­way St, Lowood.

PHOTO: FRAN­CIS WIT­SEN­HUY­SEN

MILE­STONE: Eve­lyn Ket­terer, Lynell Jen­dra and orig­i­nal mem­ber Jean Bray in­vite you to Lowood Folk Art’s 40th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion to­mor­row.

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